|Tags:||blues trumpet jazz under 2000 listeners|
23 April 1929, Houston, Texas, USA, d. 21 February 2008, Houston, Texas, USA. His Creole mother told her son stories about Louis Armstrong, so that by the age of 13 Owens was keen to play the trumpet. A year later, he joined up with the Leonard Dunkins Revue, a vaudeville band that played various musical styles and at the time featured Willie Mae Thornton as one of its singers. After that, Owens led a series of bands of his own, as well as touring Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana with various territory bands. During the 40s, his band backed men such as Big Joe Turner and T-Bone Walker when they were in town. Owens also worked with the young Amos Milburn, and also Leroy Ervin and Lightnin Hopkins. In 1949, he toured briefly with the Brownskin Models before joining I.H. Smalleys band, who regularly backed guitarist Lester Williams. Owens also worked in the house band at the Eldorado Ballroom until 1953, when B.B. King asked him to join his touring group. He...